Helping hyperactive children
It has been advised that drug treatment be a last resort for hyperactive children. Ritalin, one of the most widely prescribed of hyperactivity drugs, causes weight loss, irritability and other side effects. But are there practical alternatives? An encouraging study from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto tested a psychological treatment called cognitive behavior therapy on 25 7- to 13-year-olds. The boys, whose symptoms included disruptive behavior and difficulty concentrating, were given a series of individual therapy sessions plus at-home sessions with their families. Half of them received supportive counseling and additional instructions on problem-solving, like how to get along with siblings, finish homework and get to school on time. The other children were given supportive counseling, but received no other instruction. The parents of the boys who received problem-solving instruction reported the biggest improvement in their children's behavior. In addition, psychological tests showed an improvement in the boys' self-esteem. This may be the first carefully controlled study that tested a drugless treatment for hyperactivity.
Male breast cancer:
Most men are dangerously unaware that they, too, can develop breast cancer. Though the risk is substantially smaller -- slightly more than one in 1,000 men develop the disease compared with one in nine women -- proportionally more men die from it. The mistake they make is in failing to consult a doctor until the cancer is too far gone. This new study shows that men, like women, are more prone to breast cancer if they have a family history of it. Researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine compared 227 male breast cancer patients with 300 men who didn't have the disease. The study found that if a man had a female relative with breast cancer, he was twice as likely to develop the disease. Having a male relative with breast cancer increased his risk four times. The closer the relative by blood, the greater the risk. This is important information, but perhaps even more valuable is that this study exists in the first place, and is helping alert the public to the fact that breast cancer is about men, too.